Street Fighter Zero 3: Sega Saturn

Street Fighter Zero 3: Sega Saturn
Street Fighter Zero 3: Sega Saturn

Insert Disk collects Street Fighter Zero 3 for the Sega Saturn.

Welcome to Part 11 of 11 of this Sega Saturn Capcom Fighting games mini series.

We will be taking a look at all of the major Capcom fighting game releases from Street Fighter, Marvel, Street Fighter Vs and Darkstalker series. These retro gaming classics form a large part of the Sega Saturn’s lasting appeal and of particular interest to collectors of Japanese Sega Saturn collectors.

Part 11 sees the launch of Street Fighter Zero 3 for the Sega Saturn with Street Fighter Zero 3.

Greetings collectors and welcome to today’s retro game review. You join us in part 11, the final episode of the Sega Saturn Capcom Fighter Mini series. We’re taking a look back at Capcom’s fighting games for the Sega Saturn. Expect Street Fighter. Street Fighter Cross-overs. Marvel and Darkstaklers all battling it out on behalf of Capcom.

In the last episode we saw how Marvel Vs. Street Fighter created a lasting legacy and thrilled Sega Saturn owners. With the life of the Sega Saturn now coming to an end 1998 saw the last Street Fighter game released in the way of Street Fighter Zero 3. Right from the start it’s clear that the Zero series was going to end on a high. The intro is action packed and feels larger and somehow more serious than the other entries in the series. One significant upgrade is the number of playable characters. Now up to 34 + unlockable variations this is a significant leaps from its predecessor.

The second element is the notion of the “ism system”. You can now select from X, Z or V style of game play. X style is a somewhat simplified mode of accessing the super power up whilst Z is the more traditional Zero style of fighting with 3 distinct levels of super combo. The v-ism is a varied fighting style that allows custom combos. This all takes some time to sink in and quite a departure from previous entries in the series. I tend to stick with the X and Z settings though. In general the game feels great to play. The game has huge amounts of content and variation so you’re going to have hours of fun getting to grips with this one. It is perhaps the definitive moment in the Zero range of games. It has everything the previous 2 entries in the series had and more.

The visuals are spectacular and the sound has one of the best soundtracks of the entire series. As such it often carries a very high price tag of thousands of Yen. It looks good, sounds good and by most accounts is the best edition of the game. Interestingly even though the Dreamcast also saw a release of the game I’ve often heard it said that most collectors prefer the Saturn edition. I do own the demo of Zero 3 on the Dreamcast and found them to be reasonably similar. I’ll stick with the Saturn edition though just so I can spend some time with the Sega HSS 104 control stick. Street Fighter Zero 3 has another couple of tricks up its sleeve though. It’s not just the graphics, audio and control system that have been polished. You’ll also benefit from extra game modes outside of the standard arcade mode such as Survival Mode, World Tour, Dramatic Battle and Final Battle modes. World tour and Survival modes are much as you might expect and just a variation on the standard game.

Dramatic Battle mode offers something a little different though. It offers a simultaneous one on two fights, something previously omitted in earlier games. At first the mode is somewhat of a novelty but actually becomes a mode that you’ll want to play through rather than being just a nice to have feature. It’s not always easy but it is perhaps the most action packed mode there is in the entire Street Fighter series. The Final Battle Mode is a real challenge for any Street Fighter veteran. Choose you character and face off against Vega. Be warned tough, he is maxed out with the highest amount of block and given the advantage of a full super meter. This is a mode very much aimed at the professionals and those looking to take their skills to the next level. Vega will deal out high levels of damage per hit and loves to finish with super combo attacks. Overall though this is an epic way to end the Street Fighter Zero series.

From a rather dubious start with the Street Fighter Movie game to the Marvel standalone games and a rather great alternative universe of horror in Darkstalkers. We’ve seen cross overs, hidden characters and a 32-bit generation that helped re-establish Capcom as makers of fine fighting games. With so much to choose from on the Sega Saturn though I feel that I owe you a recommendation. So, here it goes. If I could have one game only from the list it would be Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter. It just has everything, the combos, the sound, graphics and cast to back this one all up as a best in class.

As a close second option I’d have to recommend the Street Fighter Collection. It doesn’t work as a collection as such but 2 classic games plus the reworked Zero 2 makes this an easy choice for anyone looking to dip their toes in to the world of Street Fighter. I’d also have to give a very well deserved nod to Vampire Savior. It’s something a bit different. Where Street Fighter games tend to blend together over time Vampire Saviour has a much more memorable cast of characters and a unique identity so well worth considering for some Halloween fun. Of all the Capcom games on the Saturn the only one I would happily give away for free is Street Fighter the Movie. It just doesn’t work as a game, part of the series of a true collectable. Every other game though is of a really good solid standard so you can’t go wrong which ever you decide to get off the shelf, dust off and fire up.

I’d just like to say thank you all for sticking with this 11 part series as there was a lot to get through but I do hope that you enjoyed getting re-acquainted with this particular slice of Capcom Saturn history. So there you have it, the end of our journey through Capcom’s fighting games on the Sega Saturn. I’m sure that you will all have lots of opinions on the series so feel free to leave a message in the comments section. I know that Capcom fans are incredibly dedicated so it would be great to hear which entries you would consider to be the most fun. Until next time, happy gaming.

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